Derek Wilson exclusive: Carluke Rovers wrong to say opening goal against Bellshill Athletic was offside

It may only be late June but Bellshill Athletic manager Derek Wilson is already celebrating a pre-season trophy win for his side following last Thursday night’s 4-1 success at former club Carluke Rovers.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 10:56 am
Carluke Rovers attack the Bellshill Athletic goal on Thursday night (Pics by Kevin Ramage)
Carluke Rovers attack the Bellshill Athletic goal on Thursday night (Pics by Kevin Ramage)

Doubles by Murray Loudon and Mate Laczi comfortably saw off a Rovers side who netted through Steven Frame but whose chances were hit considerably by the 52nd minute sending off of skipper Mark Cassidy for a second booking.

This was enough for Bellshill to confirm top spot in the inaugural Breathing Space Cup – a six-team mini league – with a game to spare.

Bellshill boss Derek Wilson told the Times and Speaker: “I’m over the moon. It’s a wee bit of silverware for the boys to start the season.

The Breathing Space Cup clash was keenly fought

"It’s been something different in pre-season. Usually it’s just a friendly game and that’s it but this time we’ve got something at the end of it.

"It’s ideal for the boys and gives them a bit of confidence.”

The game started in explosive fashion when ’Hill’s Murray Loudon slotted home a Drew Lindsay pass after just 22 seconds but Carluke were adamant the goal should have been disallowed for offside.

Cassidy received his first yellow card for mouthing off to the referee and Rovers gaffer Mark Weir also saw yellow for his protestations.

An aerial duel at John Cumming Stadium

But Wilson said: “I don’t really have sympathy with Rovers. I think Murray’s got the pace that maybe they thought he was offside.

"It was close and the referee has to make a split decision (there were no linesmen at the game) and at the end of the day it was a 50/50.

"It was our first attack. It was a great through ball by Drew Lindsay and I thought it was a smashing finish by Murray.”

On Cassidy’s booking for verbally abusing the referee and later sending off, Wilson added: “I’ve known Cass for a while and if you’re going to get booked for mouthing then that’s a slippery road you go down. In a friendly, it’s better just keeping your mouth shut.

"If you mistime another tackle, especially as a centre half, then you know where you’re going.”

Bellshill end their Breathing Space Cup campaign at home to Royal Abert this Saturday, KO 2pm at Sir Matt Busby Sports Complex.

"We can mix it up a wee bit,” Wilson said. “We’ve got that luxury on Saturday.”

On two-goal hero Laczi, who is newly arrived from Forth Wanderers on a one-year deal, Wilson added: “I’ve liked him for a couple of years. Forth played him on the left side of midfield because he has a good left foot but I’ve always said to him that he’s a centre forward.

"At the end of the day he’s happy to play centre forward. He’s a big strong boy and a good lad.

“He holds the ball up well and puts himself about a bit so he can be a target man for us as well.”

Meanwhile, the West of Scotland League set-up for next season has Bellshill in Conference A with Arthurlie, Craigmark, Forth, Girvan, Glasgow University, Irvine Victoria, Johnstone Burgh, Lesmahagow, Lugar Boswell, Maryhill, Maybole, Muirkirk, Saltcoats, Shotts and Whitletts.

Local rivals Thorniewood United have been included in Conference B with Ardeer, Ashfield, Cambuslang, Carluke, Dalry, Gartcairn, Glasgow United, Greenock, Kello, Newmains, Port Glasgow, Renfrew, Royal Albert and St Cadoc’s.